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Kora & Banjo Jams

Posted by Gordy Ohliger on Saturday, February 18, 2012

 Hello Folks ~

 Recently, I 've been jamming with a musician from Senegal. His wife was originally from California, so we met through mutual friends, as they were visiting.

     Karamon is of the Suso lineage, his family of well-know highly  respected Kora masters includes Foday Musa Suso, Karunka Suso, and Jali Musa Suso. (Look 'em up)

      I have a great thirst for knowledge of our banjos roots and it's early forms, which of course, led me back to Africa.The kora is a 22-string harp/gourd like instrument. His music is stunningly beautiful! My banjo fits in as would the N'Goni (back-up drone three-string) though I take it a step further with American or "Gordy" type flourishes.  We laugh a lot!

     The form is a theme which you have  respectfully learned from father/grandfather/ great- grandfather then you are allowed to open it up and add your self into it. This, of course, is the roots of jazz....or what you people might call the American form of "Take it!"

      Some of these pieces go back to the 1100' about Old-Timey music!

       In general terms we're working off an F suspended,  a haunting Dm partial something, B flat into a C-hybred. Nothing is a straight major nor a European minor. It's crazy  territory and I've got the Big Grin.

       We've done a few gigs locally with percussion and back-up singers and even regular folks love it... It's both soothing and strangely driving. My Vega-Fairbanks #9 fits in just perfectly.

 Distant cousins singing together again.



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